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Right-to-buy fraudster lands 18-month prison sentence after council action

A man who fraudulently tried to buy an Islington council flat under right-to-buy has been jailed following legal action from the local authority.
 
Babak Karimaghaei, 37, claimed to be living at 30 Park View, on the Highbury Park Estate, when he applied to buy the bedsit property.
 
Although he was the registered tenant, he was in fact subletting the flat, in breach of his tenancy conditions, and living at another address in London.
 
The false declaration was discovered by Islington Council's housing investigation team, who prosecuted because of the seriousness of the offence.  Had the fraud not been detected, the buyer would have been entitled to a right-to-buy discount of £103,000.
 
On Friday, March 31 at Blackfriars Crown Court, Mr Karimaghaei was convicted of fraud by false representation, and sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment.

Subletting is a serious breach of tenancy, and the council is taking action to repossess the flat so it can go to a household in housing need.
 
His Honour Judge Richardson, sentencing, said: "Immediate custody is required to punish a cynical abuse of a right intended for people who were really living in the house which they were applying to buy."
 
Cllr Diarmaid Ward, Islington Council's executive member for housing and development, said: "Islington faces a housing crisis, with a desperate need for more genuinely affordable housing.
 
"Right-to-buy fraud is unacceptable - it takes council housing away from the many people who badly need it, and profits the fraudsters who cheat them.
 
"We will investigate all suspected right-to-buy fraud, take legal action where there is evidence, and pursue the strongest penalties against offenders."
 
If you have information on right-to-buy fraud or any suspected housing fraud, please call Islington Council on 020 7527 7432, 24 hours a day, or email housing.fraud@islington.gov.uk
 


For more information contact:

Chris Roe
Media Manager
020 7527 8751
Chris.Roe@islington.gov.uk